FY2020 EPS Estimates for Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Cut by Analyst
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) – Investment analysts at Leerink Swann cut their FY2020 earnings estimates for shares of Merck & Co., Inc. in a research report issued on Tuesday. Leerink Swann analyst S. Fernandez now forecasts that the company will post earnings per share of $4.48 for the year, down from their previous forecast of $4.49. Leerink Swann has a “Market Perform” rating and a $66.00 price target on the stock. Leerink Swann also issued estimates for Merck & Co., Inc.’s FY2021 earnings at $4.90 EPS and FY2022 earnings at $5.33 EPS.
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $10.43 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.48 billion. Merck & Co., Inc. had a net margin of 6.40% and a return on equity of 27.73%. The company’s revenue was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.89 earnings per share.
Shares of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) traded up $0.30 on Thursday, hitting $56.29. 11,731,151 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 14,316,962. The company has a market capitalization of $152,541.23, a price-to-earnings ratio of 60.53, a PEG ratio of 2.45 and a beta of 0.75. Merck & Co., Inc. has a 52 week low of $53.36 and a 52 week high of $66.80. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 1.43 and a quick ratio of 1.16.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 6th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th will be given a dividend of $0.48 per share. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.41%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 14th. Merck & Co., Inc.’s dividend payout ratio is 206.45%.
Merck & Co., Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Tuesday, November 28th that permits the company to buyback $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, Director Wendell P. Weeks sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.57, for a total transaction of $267,850.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $273,207. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Weir Mirian M. Graddick sold 60,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.63, for a total transaction of $3,697,800.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 101,484 shares in the company, valued at $6,254,458.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 82,500 shares of company stock worth $5,026,025. 0.25% of the stock is owned by insiders.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Stelac Advisory Services LLC acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the second quarter worth about $104,000. Perennial Advisors LLC grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 10.7% during the second quarter. Perennial Advisors LLC now owns 1,626 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 157 shares in the last quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 6.3% during the second quarter. Solaris Asset Management LLC now owns 1,940 shares of the company’s stock worth $124,000 after buying an additional 115 shares in the last quarter. Santori & Peters Inc. acquired a new stake in Merck & Co., Inc. during the fourth quarter worth about $110,000. Finally, Stevens First Principles Investment Advisors grew its stake in Merck & Co., Inc. by 79.3% during the fourth quarter. Stevens First Principles Investment Advisors now owns 2,080 shares of the company’s stock worth $117,000 after buying an additional 920 shares in the last quarter. 72.85% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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Merck & Co., Inc. Company Profile
Merck & Co, Inc is a global healthcare company. The Company offers health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceutical, Animal Health, Healthcare Services and Alliances. The Company’s Pharmaceutical segment includes human health pharmaceutical and vaccine products marketed either directly by the Company or through joint ventures.
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